Philadephia, PA - Ontray Inc. a Philadelphia startup and spinout from n3rd street anchor, Jarvus Innovations, is on a mission to give restaurants the power of online food ordering without giving up their brand equity to marketplaces like GrubHub and Caviar.
When a restaurant signs up for GrubHub or Caviar, they pay a premium commission which on average is 17.4% but can be even higher depending on the packaged selected. This commission is paid for the additional sales that come with being listed on a convenient marketplace. But what about all of the customers the restaurant has spent years building relationships and brand equity with? Why are these restaurants giving up a quarter of their revenue to a marketplace, when their customers would have come to them if the marketplace didn’t exist? Ontray was conceived to solve that problem by offering each restaurant their own branded online ordering website for a fraction of the fees that the marketplaces charge. Restaurants provide a tailored brand experience to their loyal customers, while still remaining on the marketplaces for additional marketing exposure.
For Salvatore Saladino, owner of Trios Fresh Italian on Girard avenue, Ontray’s model really struck a cord. Trios participates in most of the major marketplaces however he favors his Ontray site the most. “I like the fact that it’s a local company and I’m dealing with real people,” said Salvatore. “[Ontray] is not only more profitable but there’s better brand recognition because people are seeing Trios when they order as opposed to GrubHub or another company. When they go to other websites like GrubHub, they have the opportunity to order from anybody, not just me.”
Ontray was conceived, incubated, seed funded, and mentored by Jarvus in Northern Liberties. Founded by CEO, Tyler Wiest, Ontray continues to tap Jarvus’ talent pool, while Jarvus partner John Fazio serves as Chairman of the Board, mentor to Tyler, and interim COO while a permanent replacement is recruited and trained.
Ontray has resisted external funding while continuing to grow internally on Jarvus resources, however, CEO Wiest says that won’t last forever. “Right now our focus is proving the model, our business cycles, and our margins on a local Philadelphia market. Very soon we’ll be looking for external capital to help us grow a team to expand into a regional space”.